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Leonardo da Vinci's final resting place: Chateau d'Amboise in France.

Leonardo died at Clos Lucé, on 2 May 1519 at the age of 67. The cause is generally stated to be recurrent stroke; this diagnosis is consistent with accounts of the state of Leonardo's alleged remains as described in 1863. Francis I had become a close friend. Vasari records that the king held Leonardo's head in his arms as he died, although this story, beloved by the French and portrayed in romantic paintings by Ingres, Ménageot and other French artists, as well as by Angelica Kauffman, may be legend rather than fact. Vasari states that in his last days, Leonardo sent for a priest to make his confession and to receive the Holy Sacrament. In accordance with his will, sixty beggars followed his casket. Melzi was the principal heir and executor, receiving, as well as money, Leonardo's paintings, tools, library and personal effects. Leonardo also remembered his other long-time pupil and companion, Salai, and his servant Battista di Vilussis, who each received half of Leonardo's vineyards. His brothers received land, and his serving woman received a black cloak "of good stuff" with a fur edge. Leonardo da Vinci was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d'Amboise in France.

Some 20 years after Leonardo's death, Francis was reported by the goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini as saying: "There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so much about painting, sculpture and architecture, as that he was a very great philosopher."


Clos Lucé in France, where Leonardo died in 1519

Location of remains

Leonardo's remains were originally interred in the chapel of Saint-Florentin at the Chateau d'Amboise in the Loire Valley. However, following the chapel's destruction in 1802, the whereabouts of Leonardo's remains became subject to dispute. While excavating the site in 1863 the poet Arsene Houssaye found a partially-complete skeleton and stone fragments bearing the inscription 'EO [...] DUS VINC'. The unusually large skull led Houssaye to conclude he had located the remains of Leonardo, which were re-interred in their present location of the chapel of Saint-Hubert, also at the Chateau d'Amboise. Reflecting doubts about the attribution, a plaque above the tomb states that the remains are only "presumed" to be those of Leonardo. In 2016 it was announced that DNA tests were to be conducted to investigate the veracity of the attribution, with results expected in 2019.


 
Life and Art of Leonardo da Vinci